San Diego Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars: Monday Night Football Preview and Prediction

Who would have thought that Week 13 was going to be so flippin’ intense, entertaining, surprising or WHATEVER you want to call it?!

  1. Kansas City took down the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field with an unbelievably high scoring game of 10-3.
  2. The Colts scored 24 points against the Patriots!! Of course, they still lost.
  3. The Dallas Cowboys lost in overtime to the Arizona Cardinals because of a “field goal/timeout/missed field goal” mishap.
  4. The Giants played their hearts out against the undefeated Green Bay Packers. Who would have thought that game was going to be such a nail biter? Certainly not me or I wouldn’t have made such a foolish bet.

Anyways…Let’s take a look at your Monday Night entertainment!

Last week the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-8) decided to shake things up. Not only did they fire head coach Jack Del Rio, but owner Wayne Weaver announced the agreement to sell the team to businessman Shahid Khan.

philip-rivers-chargers-jaguars-monday-night-football-preview-point-spread-predictionNot to be left out, the San Diego Chargers (4-7) have not denied rumors of Norv Turner getting sacked at the end of the season.

Each team has had their struggles, but let’s find out who is most likely to fight through them!

The Chargers

The struggling Chargers have had their longest losing streak since the end of 2002 and beginning of 2003 seasons. San Diego sits at the bottom of the AFC West and are three games behind division rivals Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders.

Philip Rivers just isn’t the Philip Rivers we expected to see. His inconsistency and developing inaccuracy have hurt the Chargers at crucial moments in games. Rivers has 17 interceptions after throwing only 13 last season.

Despite Rivers’ inefficiency, the team is ranked 6th in the league for total number of yards on offense (386), and wide receiver Malcom Floyd (out with a hip injury since October 31st) returns to the field, which should benefit the Chargers’ offensive game.

The Chargers’ defense has not contributed a lot the past six games. They only have 19 sacks this season, which is tied with the Colts and Buccaneers for second worst in the NFL. They have also allowed 131.9 rushing yards per game, ranking them 26th in league. The key to locking down the Jaguars unstable offense will be shutting down running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who has been responsible for the minimal amount of success Jacksonville has had.

The Jaguars

The Jaguars have had a lot happen in a short week, and refocusing their attention is going to be difficult.

After Del Rio was let go, the Jaguars named Mel Tucker interim coach. Tucker wasted no time taking over and fired receivers coach Johnny Cox, reassigned quarterbacks coach Mike Sheppard, and waived starting receiver Jason Hill. Jacksonville has also put three more players on injured reserve, giving them a league-high of 20 guys out for the season.

That’s a big dose of change for one week.

blaine-gabbert-monday-night-football-preview-point-spread-prediction-chargers-jaguarsJacksonville’s offense is ranked 31st for points scored per game (12.5) and gain a league low 250 total yards per game. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert has struggled to lead this offense. Gabbert has a completion percentage of 48.5, and while he has half the number of interceptions Rivers does, he also only has 6 touchdowns to brag about. In Gabbert’s defense, he has one player he can rely on, Maurice Jones-Drew, who has rushed for 1040 yards and scored 5 touchdowns.

The Jaguars defense has held their own despite the disappointing season. They are ranked 4th in the league for overall defense, only allowing 292.5 yards per game and a total of 23 sacks this season. Outside linebacker Daryl Smith has had 80 combined tackles and 2.5 sacks to assist the team.

However, the defense has gone through a lot of players. Backup cornerback Will Middleton will join fellow teammates Rashean Mathis and Derek Cox on IR. Jacksonville signed cornerback David Jones to help fill in the gap. Defensive end Math Roth is out with a concussion and Aaron Kampman is suffering from a hamstring injury. All in all, this Jaguars defense sounds a little black and blue.

My Chargers-Jaguars Prediction

When I started this post, I literally had no idea who I would pick to win. I kinda was thinking they’d both find a way to lose…were that possible.

I’d say it’s about time for the Chargers to step out of their funk, but I don’t think that’s going to happen for three reasons:

  1. Rivers is consistently throwing interceptions, and that’s it.
  2. Someone pressed the reboot button for the Jacksonville Jaguars. There is a new feeling amongst the team that will jolt them into action.
  3. Someone pressed the chaos button for the San Diego Chargers. Jump starting rumors of the future of the team in the middle of the regular season doesn’t seem like the best idea for “team” focus.

Final Score prediction:

Jacksonville Jaguars: 20  | San Diego Chargers: 17

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San Diego Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Chargers-Jaguars Date: Monday December 5th
  • Chargers-Jaguars Kickoff Time: 8:30 pm
  • Chargers-Jaguars TV Network: ESPN
  • Chargers-Jaguars Announcers: Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, and Ron Jaworski
  • Chargers-Jaguars Point Spread: Chargers -3
  • Chargers-Jaguars Over-Under: 39.5

 

About the Author

Amanda Lawson

A Wisconsinite stuck in Iowa, Amanda began her journey as a new baseball and Twins fan by sharing her experience on Midwest Sports Fans with the Beginning Baseball column. You can follow her on Twitter @AmandaRLawson to stay up-to-date on the Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin Badgers, and other sports information. Besides her work on MSF, Amanda also contributes her Packer knowledge at PocketDoppler and co-hosts every Thursday night on CheeseheadRadio.